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This Just In: Totalitarian Regimes Still Suck

If for no other reason, it's because they screw up your trend pieces. After a year of blocking access to Wikipedia, the Chinese government relented late last week. There was much rejoicing. Residents of mainland China would now be exposed … Read More

By / November 17, 2006

If for no other reason, it's because they screw up your trend pieces.

After a year of blocking access to Wikipedia, the Chinese government relented late last week. There was much rejoicing. Residents of mainland China would now be exposed to the forbidden thoughts of the Taiwanese. The great cultural information revolution in China is firmly underway! gushed IT wire yesterday. Reporters Without Borders said it proved that Google and Microsoft were lickspittle cowards who’d gained nothing by censoring their content and “bow[ing] down before Beijing.” Thomas Friedman said the world was even flatter.

Suddenly, inexplicably, it’s over. As mainstream media stragglers only now announce the liberation of Chinese Wikipedia (get with it, Al Jazeera), Beijing-based blogger Andrew Lih reports this morning that the Great Firewall of China is back in action. Just Wednesday, Lih had said “if you think about it, doesn’t it make complete sense that the People’s Republic of China would embrace the people’s encyclopedia of Wikipedia?”.

Unfortunately, no.

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